Inside the Secret ‘Grade School’ Life of an Albany Football Legend
Few athletes who have played in Albany have performed better, for longer, than "Touchdown" Eddie Brown.
Brown played his entire arena football career with the Firebirds organization, from 1994 through 2003. He played with the team while it was in Albany until 2001, and then played his final two seasons with the team in Indiana. Brown is an AFL Hall-of-Famer, ranking in the Top 10 in AFL history in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
Off of the turf, however, Brown lived a much more modest life, a life spent in-part in the hallways of Shaker High School in Latham, New York.
Life Off-the-Field for 'Touchdown' Eddie Brown
In what ended up being the final season of the Firebirds' run in the Capital Region, 2000, Eddie Brown surprised the world by announcing his retirement from the game of football. It was April 19, 2000, when Brown announced he was stepping away from the team, to work on his relationship with his family. Though he would return to the franchise when they moved to Indiana, his time in Albany was through.
At the time of his retirement, Brown told teammates the following:
“I’ve always had my ‘F’ words missed up.”
The words he was talking about were football and family, according to The Troy Record's article on Brown from April of 2000.
Though he stepped away from the game of football, he kept his jobs away from the game, jobs that surprised a number of people. Brown was working as a hall monitor at Shaker High School in Latham at the time of his retirement, a job he kept after he left football. He was coaching basketball and football at the school, as well.
The job that Brown was working paints a very interesting picture about life as a minor league athlete. Even the biggest stars in a given league often have to work second jobs during the week in order to support themselves and their families. It's a tough lifestyle to maintain, for sure.
Eddie Brown's Post-Playing Coaching Career
Brown became a staple of the local coaching scene during his time in the Capital Region. According to his Wikipedia profile, he was the coach of the Tamarac High School basketball team for a stretch, as well as a JV wide receivers' coach at Shaker, like previously mentioned.
He's coached football at the high school level, the collegiate level, and professionally in the af2 league since 2006. He's been solely coaching high school since 2011, and is currently the head coach of Boyd Anderson High School football in Florida.
When Touchdown Eddie Brown was playing in Albany, he was as large of a star as you could find. Off the field, however, he was a father, a husband, and a human being, working a modest position that likely benefitted hundreds of young Shaker students.